28 October 1861

Camp Buckingham

Jamaica, L.I. Oct. 28th 1861

Dear Sister,

Having waited impatiently for an answer to my letter of the 21st and receiving none, I again take my pen in hand to inscribe a few lines to you hoping this time at least you will not neglect to answer immediately upon receiving this; I have just received a letter from Ariel saying, among other things, that Grandmother is not as well, and that Jos. R. Toy is about getting up a military company. We are very pleasantly situated, much more so than at Hartford, the ground being slightly sloping to the south making it quite dry and pleasant with the exception that it is a very windy location outside of the camp streets so there is not much danger of getting asleep of guard although we have a large camp fire burning continually. I do not think we burned less than two solid cords of hard seasoned wood last night. The wind blew a perfect hurricane but we made a pile of wood upon three of the fires (effectually breaking the wind) having about fifteen cords in the piles. We set the wood up endways and crossways and such a fire you do not often see; when we were released from guard we got inside and spread our blankets over us, and were soon asleep but when we woke up we were nearly baked, the smoke and cinders nearly suffocating us, but that was better than being in the wind. I had my blouse & overcoat on and both blankets around me. I turned my overcoat cape over my ears so upon the whole I was very comfortable walking my beat two hours, then lying before the fire for nearly four hours more. Most of the Regiment went to church yesterday with the Officers but I was on guard, of course I had to stay in camp. We have an excellent chaplain – he is an eloquent preacher as well as a very social and agreeable man – and I believe is universally liked by the men. Jamaica is one of the pleasantest places I ever saw. It is situated ½ mile from camp. The people are very familiar (much more than Conn. People) & I should also say generous and hospitable.

They gave our Regt. over a thousand  loaves of bread last week besides giving us many apples and welcoming to their houses all who are so fortunate as to get out side of guard. Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Lieut. Marsh arrived in town day before yesterday. Lieut. accompanied them to Brooklyn & back yesterday. Mrs. Marsh is expecting to stay until the Regt. leaves.

There is a camp rumor that we shall leave Thursday but I do not credit it. The Regt. are now undergoing a thorough examination. The men are not troubled with clothes while undergoing this examination.

Our company will probably be examined tomorrow or next day and there is no knowing how many will be thrown out and no one will know until they get through. One of our corporals has been reduced to the ranks and one month’s pay forfeited for getting drunk. I have been doing my washing the forenoon. I get my clothes in, in good order & I think I will make a good washerwoman.

My love to Grandmother; hope she is not going to be sick every day. Love to all.

Simsbury boys all well. See Benejah every day, sometimes two or three times a day.

From your affectionate Brother,

Oliver

Direct as I wrote you before

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